Well Spud, I guess then I suggest trying to work around the problems.
1) The opening for the grip safety has a sharp edge on the very top of the opening. In fact, so did my XDm. So a bit of light work with a corner of a fine sandpaper sheet will make it bite the firing hand a little less. The sleeve idea would not help even if you cover up the grip safety (which I suggest is not a good idea
), since the opening goes up above any possible sleeve location.
2b) The recoil spring is indeed strong. As in, a woman might have trouble retracting the slide enough to load. Training and maybe moderate weight-lifting might be required
2b) The recoil spring is indeed strong. It is a real battle to try to manually lock the slide back unless you use an empty magazine. I have to really strain to hold the slide in just the right position while trying to get the slide lock pushed up. Having an empty magazine around might be the only way to lock the slide back, assuming you are not shooting until slidelock and merely want to check it, clean it, etc.
3) My XDs, and possibly others, will not reliably load from a locked open slide if the 'slingshot' method is used. If I use the slide release, it will load every time. That is simply a training issue, not a problem with using this fine little "barker".
Who learned that "barker" was an English term for small single shot muzzle loaders, back in the days of Charles Dickens.